Support for research and innovation during Horizon Europe delay

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Funding will help the research and innovation sector address the impacts of the ongoing delay for UK association to the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will deliver £280 million in new funding to help address the impacts of the ongoing delay in UK association to the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.

It comprises:

  • £150 million investment in UK research and innovation infrastructure
  • £30 million Talent Research and Stabilisation Fund, to help universities and research organisations retain talent and target funding vulnerabilities at a local level
  • £100 million additional Quality-related Research (QR) funding for universities and research organisations to target other priorities as necessary

It is part of an overall £484 million announced today (21 November 2022) by the UK government and being delivered by UKRI and other partners.

It builds on the support that UKRI is already delivering through the Horizon Europe Guarantee Fund.

Investment in infrastructure

£150 million will be distributed via existing UKRI programmes boosting infrastructure investment across the UK.

The investment will comprise:

  • £70.65 million through World Class Laboratories, delivered by research councils, which will drive improvements such as investment in new core equipment, to enhance the UK’s scientific capability and support high quality, high priority, cutting edge research
  • £70.65 million through the Research Capital Investment Fund (RCIF) delivered by Research England, which underpins the long-term financial sustainability of England’s higher education providers
  • £8.7 million through the Digital Research Infrastructure programme which will deliver new large-scale compute capacity based on the latest technologies. This will enable the UK’s researchers and innovators to take advantage of the most promising new digital tools and techniques

This will strengthen the UK research and innovation system, helping to attract globally mobile businesses and talent, and supporting innovation, skills and growth.

Talent Research and Stabilisation Fund

The £30 million Talent Research and Stabilisation Fund, which was announced by the UK government in July, will provide interim formula funding for universities and research organisations across the UK. It will help them to retain talent and target funding vulnerabilities at a local level.

Allocations will be based on historic funding patterns and success rates under previous EU programmes.

The funding will be used by universities and research organisations to help with the costs of retaining and attracting talented people during this period of uncertainty.

Additional QR funding

The £100 million additional QR funding being offered through Research England will enable recipients to target priority issues. For example:

  • developing, supporting and amplifying international collaborations and partnerships
  • developing international networks and research experiences
  • recruiting and retaining talent, including internationally and at all career stages
  • capacity building and strategic investment in research priorities
  • securing and sustaining the talent pipeline and supporting research careers
  • supporting blue-skies research and pursuit of novel research ideas
  • mitigating shortfalls in research income due to uncertainty over EU research grants

English higher education providers who receive annual QR funding from Research England will receive this additional QR funding.

‘Rapid, stabilising support’

UKRI International Champion Professor Christopher Smith said:

The uncertainty over ratification of UK association to Horizon Europe is constraining the capacity of the UK’s outstanding universities and research organisations to retain and build the talented research and development workforce which will help the UK’s economy grow and our society to flourish.

While we await a decision on association, this much-needed and welcome investment will provide rapid, stabilising support to help maintain the UK’s international reputation for research and innovation.

Allocation process

The funding will be distributed through a combination of:

  • allocations calculated by formula
  • increasing the number of awards made through existing calls whose application windows have now closed

So applications do not need to be made for this funding.

Full details on allocation of the funds will be published shortly.

Further information

RCIF and additional QR funding are England-only. Similar funding for Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish institutions is being distributed through the devolved administrations.

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